Have you seen the movie “The Matrix”? How about “Vanilla Sky”? In both movies characters are in a dream world that feels so real, they didn’t know the difference between their sleep worlds and reality. In this post I will give you my top 10 lucid dreaming tips for first becoming lucid and then controlling your lucid dreaming world.
- The Lucid Dreaming Oneironaut
- The Power of R.E.M.
- Can Anyone Lucid Dream?
- The 10 Lucid Dreaming Tips
- Tip 1: Keep a Dream Journal
- Tip 2: Eat Your Way to Lucidity
- Tip 3: Read About Lucid Dreaming & Set a Conscious Intention to Have a Lucid Dream
- Tip 4: Sleep in Complete Darkness
- Tip 5: Perform Regular Reality Checks
- Tip 6: Set an Alarm
- Tip 7: Wake Back to Bed (WBTB Technique)
- Tip 8: Disrupt the REM cycle
- Tip 9: Try Galantamine
- Tip 10: Visualize Your Lucid Dream
- Thing to Avoid When Inducing Lucid Dreams
The Lucid Dreaming Oneironaut
A lucid dreamer is also known as an oneironaut.
An oneironaut is to dreams what an astronaut is to space (or a swimming pool if you believe some conspiracy theorists).
Having full control of your own dreams is not only exhilarating but it can also be extremely motivating.
Once they’ve experienced specific scenarios, such as learning a new skill or achieving a goal, in your dream world many people work to recreate them in the real world.
On top of that, lucid dreaming improves brain functions and memory recall. In fact there are many amazing benefits that lucid dreaming brings.
The Power of R.E.M.
Rapid Eye Movement, a literal description of eyes moving quickly while sleeping. EEG readings during REM sleep are very similar when people are awake.
It can be interpreted as active brain activity and scientist assume this is the point when dreams occur.
The faster your body reaches the fifth stage of sleep, the faster you start dreaming.
Can Anyone Lucid Dream?
Is it possible for anyone to have lucid dreams?
The answer is a resounding yes!
Scientists have confirmed that although spontaneous lucid dreaming (where you become lucid by pure chance) is quite rare anyone is capable of lucid dreaming.
A lucid dreaming clinical study by Professor Ursula Voss, Dr. Romain Holzmann, Dr. Inka Tuin and Dr. J. Allan Hobson confirms it.
Dreams occur during REM sleep. It is the 5th and deepest stage of sleep.
In a normal person, it takes six hours to get to REM sleep stage.
However, it is possible to induce REM sleep faster and recall the dream once you wake up.
A lot of people have vivid dreams and some even have lucid dreams but do not remember them after they wake.
So as part of learning lucid dreaming you must also learn how to remember your dreams. After all there is no point in experiencing your deepest desires if you don’t recall the experiences later!
This brings us to our first tip but before we begin I have listed the ten tips below in bullet form for easy recall.
The 10 Lucid Dreaming Tips
Here are some tips on how to have lucid dreams, how to influence vivid dreams, become lucid in them and how to remember them.
- Keep a Dream Journal
- Eat Your Way to Lucidity
- Read About Lucid Dreaming & Set a Conscious Intention to Have a Lucid Dream
- Sleep in Complete Darkness
- Perform Regular Reality Checks
- Set an Alarm
- Wake Back to Bed
- Disrupt the REM cycle
- Try Galantamine
- Visualize your lucid dream
Tip 1: Keep a Dream Journal
Most people remember their dreams immediately upon waking as we tend to awaken directly after a dream.
It is essential you write down what you remember. So, keep a dedicated notepad or black book and pen beside your bed and train yourself to record your dreams as soon as you awake.
This may seem like a lot of work but it is short-term work.
When you write down what you dream about every night this action stimulates the brain and begins to increase memory retention naturally.
Over time your brain develops a habit of remembering your dreams. Images also become more vivid and detailed as your brain tries to record your dream sequences for better conscious retention and recall when you wake.
Once you have begun to remember your dreams in detail you will find that you no longer need to use your dream journal.
However, many lucid dreamers continue this practice as they have so many vivid dreams they like to keep a record of them for later reading and for other dream ideas.
Tip 2: Eat Your Way to Lucidity
Lucid dreaming occurs during REM sleep. Acetylcholine is a natural brain neurotransmitter that regulates it.
There are natural foods and supplements that contain significant levels of choline that can facilitate REM sleep and help to make your dreams more vivid.
In fact there are many supplements that can actually help you become fully lucid during one of these vivid dreams, especially if you have trained yourself to perform regular reality checks (see tip 5 below).
Food like chocolate, peanut butter, brussel sprouts, yogurt, and cruciferous vegetables are high in choline.
Acetylcholine does not only regulates REM sleep, it also helps memory, concentration, and focus.
One of the best supplements comes in a pill form and is called Dream Leaf.
If you are interested in helping your lucid dreaming efforts you can pick up some Dream Leaf from Amazon fairly cheaply.
Tip 3: Read About Lucid Dreaming & Set a Conscious Intention to Have a Lucid Dream
During the day take some time to read about lucid dreaming and other people’s lucid dreaming stories.
Immerse yourself to some extent into the subject of lucid dreams.
The mind tends to carry over into the dream world the most dominant activities of the day.
So, feeding your mind information about lucid dreaming will help you bring that information into the dream world.
Take a few minutes to read or imagine what you want to dream.
Tip 4: Sleep in Complete Darkness
Any light in the room is a stimulant. You want to avoid stimulants when you want to enter deep sleep.
Sleeping in complete darkness creates visual sensory deprivation and relaxes the eyes.
Darkness also helps in the production of melatonin which helps speed up the sleep stages to reach REM sleep quicker.
Tip 5: Perform Regular Reality Checks
Reality checks are one of the most powerful ways to induce a lucid dream.
By asking yourself constantly throughout the day “Am I Dreaming” and then actively looking for signs that you are in a dream and not in the real world you will start a habit.
As I have already outlined earlier in this post the mind tends to carry over into dreams your predominate thoughts and actions during the preceding day.
If you make the habit of asking “Am I dreaming?” and then actively looking for signs that you are dreaming you will find that you start to do the same thing at night when you are dreaming.
How Reality Checks Work
In the movie “The Matrix”, characters are able to break physical their physical limits.
Neo, and the other members of his group, are able to control aspects of the universe because of a single reason – they are aware that they are in the Matrix.
Lucid dreamers experience a similar “reality” to Neo because they are aware that they are dreaming.
Knowing you are dreaming is the ultimate step to achieving lucid dream control.
There are two simple ways to find out if you are dreaming:
- Read some text or read the time/numbers.
- Attempt to fly (take off from the ground!).
Reading in a dream is difficult. Reading the time or reading numbers is almost impossible.
Text is garbled and will not make much sense. text and numbers will become muddled and they will change a lot.
I do not need to explain flying as it is impossible to do in the real world.
You should also look for personal signs that you are in fact dreaming. Your own personal lucid dream world will reflect your subconscious mind.
Not only will there be signs that things are just not right (for example your Aunt Margret strangely now looks like Queen Victoria) but your dream world will have recurring features that you will eventually recognize.
Tip 6: Set an Alarm
Whatever time you normally wake up, set an alarm clock or the alarm on your phone for wake you approximately 2 hours before that.
This is the time when you usually enter your last REM sleep cycle so you should be waking yourself during a dream.
How Using an Alarm Works to Go Lucid
An example of using an alarm to go lucid would work as follows:
If you normally wake up at 5 am, set the alarm for 3 am.
Chose an alarm sound that is loud enough to wake you but not so shocking that it wakes you completely.
This will teach your mind to gently wake into conscious without waking your body fully. This gives you a much better chance of waking within a dream but you should also do a quick reality check before going back to sleep and set an intention to have a lucid dream.
Be easy on yourself when you use this, and any other method, as they can take time to produce results – it’s all about consistency and persistence.
This is not the only benefit of using the “alarm method” as you will see in Tip 7 below.
Tip 7: Wake Back to Bed (WBTB Technique)
When you use your alarm to wake you instead of opening your eyes and doing a reality check keep your eyes closed.
Make sure your alarm is within easy reach and you can shut it off easily without opening your eyes.
Now, allow yourself to drift back into a dream-like state with whatever imagery comes to your mind. you may even want to revisit your last dream.
As the images appear on your mind’s eye gently direct them in a specific direction so you remain somewhat in control and conscious of what is happening.
Often this will lead you into a full dream in the conscious state.
Of course you can use this in conjunction with step 6 by doing a reality check and then going through the motions of step 7, the only difference being you opened your eyes to do a reality check.
Tip 8: Disrupt the REM cycle
Forcibly waking up during the REM cycle helps you remember the dream. It is often believed that people just “forget” what they dream about once they begin their day. Disrupting your sleep cycle on the 5th or 6th hour of sleep. It helps you remember your dream. Concentrate on it then sleep again.
The problem is knowing when you are in REM sleep and disrupting which you obviously can’t do when you are sleeping. Luckily there is a technological solution to that problem.
Tip 9: Try Galantamine
Lastly, Galantamine is a supplement that induces Lucid dreaming. There can be some small but known side-effects so you want to consult a qualified and certified health professional before using it though most people experience no side-effects at all.
Galantamine will improve your memory and greatly increase dream recall because it increases the overall levels of acetylcholine in the brain (covered in Tip 2).
You will also increase teh vividness and intensity of your dreams using galantamine.
You can buy galantamine online at Amazon if you want to try it.
Reading and imagining things creates an image in your brain. If you focus on details, it further slows mental activity and practices your brain to produce more vivid images
Tip 10: Visualize Your Lucid Dream
Reading and Imagining things creates an image in your brain so, as you fall asleep imagine that you are having a lucid dreaming and are in full control of it.
If you are familiar with visualization then you will realise the power behind this simple imaginary act.
If you focus on small details of the image, it not only helps create the metal picture you are visualization but further slows mental activity and practices your brain to produce more vivid images.
Thing to Avoid When Inducing Lucid Dreams
Avoid caffeine and alcohol if you want to achieve REM sleep faster. It also a good idea to avoid napping during the day, to exercise regularly, and sleep in a comfortable environment.
Do not watch TV or any electronics at least an hour before bed as they will influence your dreams and will mess-up your lucid dreaming techniques.
TV is also too fast-paced and may increase brain activity.
Hopefully these 10 lucid dreaming tips will help you embark on new adventures and enter into the world of lucid dreaming.